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Jazz ukulele player Paul Hemmings and his Uketet explore various shades of the blues on their new album.
137 backers pledged $8,501 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$8,501

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Welcome to the Kickstarter page for The Blues And The Abstract Uke, the second album from The Paul Hemmings Uketet.  This recording has been in the works for the better part of a year so I’m eager for it to finally see the light of day.  But before it does, I’m launching this campaign to ask for your support to help fund this project and see it through to completion.

The Blues And The Abstract Uke is a portrait of the blues, a series of instrumental vignettes filtered through the lens of my ukulele-fronted jazz group.  But instead of painting with broad strokes, my intent was to detail a handful of the many different shades of the blues.  So you’ll find visceral blues standards like Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out and Please Send Me Someone To Love alongside the impressionistic balladry of Sittin’ On Top Of The World.  Intricate jazz compositions such as Jim Hall’s labyrinthine Careful and Wes Montgomery’s West Coast Blues are contrasted by the hillbilly shuffle of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues.  And you’ll also find four of my own original blues-influenced compositions.

Helping me bring all of these tunes to life are some of my very favorite musicians.  In addition to yours truly on ukulele, you’ll hear Gaku Takanashi on bass and Rudy Royston on drums, and on several tracks we’re joined by Greg Tardy on tenor saxophone and Curtis Fowlkes on trombone.  It’s no exaggeration to say that this has easily been one of my favorite ensembles to work with, and I feel like that definitely comes through on this recording.

In the studio with (L to R) Greg Tardy, Curtis Fowlkes, Paul Hemmings, Rudy Royston, Gaku Takanashi
In the studio with (L to R) Greg Tardy, Curtis Fowlkes, Paul Hemmings, Rudy Royston, Gaku Takanashi

Now that the recording side of things has concluded, it’s time for mixing, mastering, artwork, CD manufacturing, and then distribution, publicity, and promotion.  All of these things cost money, of course, which is why I’m launching this Kickstarter campaign.  In recent years, crowdfunding platforms have changed the way that countless albums have been made by offering independent musicians like myself an opportunity to directly connect with potential backers to secure funding for their creative projects.

So I come to you now to ask for your support in bringing this labor of love to life.  The $8000 budget will go toward studio fees, mastering, disc duplication, and paying my musicians.  If we exceed our goal, the remaining funds will go toward publicity and promotion.  But please keep in mind that every Kickstarter campaign is an all-or-nothing proposition – if we don’t meet our goal we don’t get to keep any of the funds raised.

I hope you’ll consider lending your support to this project and help me get The Blues And The Abstract Uke out of the recording studio and into the world.

Thank you,

Paul.

Risks and challenges

Most of the risks and challenges associated with completing a project such as this have to do with adhering to budgets and deadlines. Things have a tendency to come up that inevitably lay waste to even the most carefully crafted projections and timelines. (Some of you already know the story about my son being born prematurely a few days after our initial recording date!) But that's why I've waited until this point in the project to launch this campaign. Now that the work in the studio is completed, the post-production will be a lot easier to keep on schedule. I also have a much clearer picture of what the total production costs will be. While challenges may still arise, I'm confident that we'll be able to meet our deadlines for fulfilling our commitments.

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    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    A big "thank you" and good karma.

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    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD. You'll get a pre-release digital download of the finished album.

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    PHYSICAL CD. You'll get a pre-release signed copy of the finished CD and a pre-release digital download of the finished album.

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    CD + YOUR NAME IN THE LINER NOTES. Your name will appear as a supporter in the liner notes of the artwork for the CD. You'll also receive a pre-release signed copy of the finished CD and a pre-release digital download of the finished album.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    CD + TWO eBOOKS. You'll get two of my eBooks (choose from Diminished Returns, Triad Bootcamp, Chord Melodies For The Vocally Challanged, and Uke 'n The Blues) in addition to a pre-release signed copy of the finished CD (with your name printed in the list of supporters in the artwork), a digital download of the album, and a copy of our first CD, "Introducing...The Paul Hemmings Uketet".

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    THE DELUXE PACKAGE. You'll get a pre-release signed copy of the finished CD (with your name printed in the list of supporters in the artwork) plus a copy of our first album, "Introducing...The Paul Hemmings Uketet". You'll also get the pre-release digital download of the new album and all four eBooks (Diminished Returns, Triad Bootcamp, Chord Melodies For The Vocally Challanged, and Uke 'n The Blues).

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    HOUR-LONG UKULELE LESSON. You'll get an hour-long ukulele lesson via FaceTime or Skype in addition to a pre-release signed copy of the CD (with your name printed in the list of supporters in the artwork), a digital download of the album, and all four eBooks.

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    CUSTOM RINGTONE. I'll record the song of your choice as a custom ringtone. You'll also get a pre-release signed copy of the CD (with your name printed in the list of supporters in the artwork) and a digital download of the album.

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    Pledge US$ 400 or more About US$ 400

    A MONTH OF UKULELE LESSONS. You'll get four hour-long ukulele lessons via FaceTime or Skype -- one every week for a month. You'll also get a pre-release signed copy of the CD (with your name printed in the list of supporters in the artwork), a digital download of the album, and all four eBooks.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    YOUTUBE PERFORMANCE. I'll arrange and perform an instrumental rendition of a song of your choosing and post it to YouTube with a dedication of your choice. You'll also get a pre-release signed copy of the CD (with your name printed in the list of supporters in the artwork) and a digital download of the album.

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    Pledge US$ 750 or more About US$ 750

    COMMISSION A COMPOSITION. Give me a title and some guidelines and I'll compose the music. You'll also get a pre-release signed copy of the CD (with your name printed in the list of supporters in the artwork) and a digital download of the album.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    HOUSE CONCERT. You'll get a duo performance with me playing ukulele and Gaku Takanashi on bass anywhere within a 200-mile radius of New York City. You'll also get 5 pre-release signed copies of the CD (with your name printed in the list of supporters in the artwork) and a digital download of the album.

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Funding period

- (29 days)